DONALD TRUMP has a chance to make himself a worthy candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, Boris Johnson claimed yesterday.
The US president would deserve the accolade if he tackled the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and Iran, the foreign secretary said as he turned on the charm during a trip to the US.
Mr Johnson has previously accused Mr Trump of talking ‘nonsense’ — and once quipped that he wouldn’t visit parts of New York for fear of encountering him. But he changed his tune during a last-ditch attempt to stop the president pulling out of a deal that saw Iran agree to shelve its nuclear programme.
He said: ‘If Trump can fix North Korea and the Iran nuclear deal then I don’t see why he’s any less of a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize than Barack Obama.’
Mr Trump, criticised for inflaming global tensions with confrontational tweets, is expected to meet North Korean president Kim Jong-un next month amid signs that tensions have begun to thaw.
But he has branded the Iran deal ‘crazy’ because it allowed Tehran to retain its nuclear know-how and to resume the programme in 2025.
He tweeted last night that he would be announcing his decision on the future of the agreement today. Mr Johnson warned it would be a mistake to scrap the deal signed by Mr Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, who won the peace prize in 2009 for his diplomatic efforts.
He acknowledged problems with the pact but argued the president could help to put them right.
Lavishing praise on Mr Trump, Mr Johnson said in an interview with MSNBC: ‘This stuff he’s doing in North Korea — fascinating the way he’s playing that, taking a very tough line on Iran.’
And appearing on the president’s favourite Fox News show Fox & Friends, he said: ‘Iran is behaving badly — Iran has a tendency to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles.
‘We’ve got to push back on what Iran is doing in the region, we’ve got to be tougher and we’ve got to fix the flaws in the deal.’
Mr Johnson said Iran could resume its nuclear programme if the deal was brought to an end — potentially sparking a dangerous arms race in the oil-rich middle east.
He said taking military action to stop the country creating nuclear weapons would be a dangerous path. ‘What if the Iranians do rush for a nuclear weapon,’ he asked.
‘Are we seriously saying that we’re going to bomb those facilities? Is that a realistic possibility?’
Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani said he may stick by the deal if the ‘mischievous’ US pulls out, provided other countries that signed the pact agreed not to reimpose sanctions.